It’s summertime which means we are grilling steaks every weekend we get a chance. Sure, it’s 110 degrees outside and the Zika-threatening mosquitos are upon us in South Texas, but a good grilled steak is always worth braving the elements. Am I right?
Which also means we often have leftover steak stashed away in the fridge. You could nuke it up alongside some leftover potatoes, but why not get more creative? This salad is here to save you from you from jumping into the black hole of boring microwave leftovers.
The key to heating up leftover steak is to cook it at a low enough temperature so that it doesn’t dry out. By warming it up in the oven for a longer time at a low temperature, it heats up nice and slow, then just give it a quick sear in a hot pan to crisp up the edges.
The other awesome thing about this salad: there’s bacon. In the dressing. Did you hear me?! This plus the vinegar make a perfectly salty and tangy dressing. Boom. Bacon really makes everything better.
Add to this list of ingredients some bright cherry tomatoes, asiago cheese, and the miracle of microwave-fried crispy shallots, and you will be craving this salad daily.
6-8 ounces steak of choice (panfried, grilled or leftovers heated up as described below)
1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
1 shallot, sliced
6 ounces fresh spinach
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- If using leftover steak: Preheat oven to 250°F. On wire rack placed over a cookie sheet, cook steak for 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness. While the steak is in the oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on high heat in a pan. When the steak is warmed through, take it out of the oven and sear it in the pan for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and let rest 5 minutes before cutting.
- Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette: Cook bacon in a skillet on medium-low heat. Once the bacon is cooked, remove the bacon to a small plate or bowl, and leave the drippings in the pan. Toss the garlic and thyme in the pan and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Remove from heat. In the pan or in a separate bowl, whisk together the bacon drippings, garlic, thyme, sherry vinegar, and olive oil. Add pepper to taste. Set aside
- Sautéed mushrooms: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Sauté garlic for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and salt and pepper. Sauté for about 10-15 minutes until browned.
- Crispy Shallots: Place sliced shallot in small bowl. Pour in enough vegetable oil to barely cover the shallot. Cook in microwave for 2 1/2-3 minutes until light brown. The shallots will continue cooking in the hot oil when you take it out of the microwave. Set aside and let cool (this dish will be extremely hot).
- Assemble: Toss spinach and bacon-sherry vinaigrette together in a large bowl. Divide the spinach into two bowls for servings. Top with steak, mushrooms, shallots, tomatoes, bacon and some shaved asiago cheese.